Archive for Thursday, January 17, 2002

USD 232 considers home school oversight

January 17, 2002

Home schoolers in the De Soto USD 232 school district might be coming under closer scrutiny.

Joe Hatley spoke to board members at the Jan. 7 school board meeting. He said home schooling is largely unregulated because the state has taken a broad interpretation of a "qualified private school."

Hatley looked into the issue because he was concerned that some students not attending a traditional school within the district would have to be reported to the authorities as truant.

Hatley explained that the state requires students receive instruction from a "qualified instructor" and follow a "scheduled curriculum."

"We need to have a way to let parents know what is expected of them," Hatley said.

He suggested the board produce a form for those parents home schooling their children. The form would allow the parents to know what is expected of them. Board members discussed having the parents register their curriculum with the district.

Hatley explained that if students aren't receiving proper education by state standards, the district is obligated to report such cases to the district attorney for investigation.

"You have an obligation if they're not getting an education to contact the proper authorities," Superintendent Marilyn Layman said.

Woodsonia Elementary Principal Cathy Grube asked what would happen if a home schooling parent refused to provide information about the child's education.

School board member Jim Plummer explained that board members were not required to seek out home schoolers, but if they hear of any cases in the district, they should send a form to the schooler's parents.

"Beyond that, it's out of our hands," Plummer said. "We just turn over the information to the authorities."

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